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PTAC President's Letter 2014

On behalf of the PTA Council of Greenwich, welcome back to the 2014-15 school year!  The PTA Council is the umbrella organization of the PTAs connected to each of the public schools in Greenwich.  Whether you are a teacher, parent, community member or friend, we thank you for your interest and support.

We know how precious these years are. As we start this school year, we are once again reminded of the heartbreak that comes with life. Our hearts are heavy because of the tragedy on the water this summer. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all of the girls involved.  At the same time, we again find ourselves inspired by the strength and resilience of the Greenwich community. Once again the school district has been a rallying point for comfort and healing for all of Greenwich’s families.

This summer I spent a lot of time helping my oldest child get ready to go off to college. For those of you who have done this, you know what I really mean to say is that spent a lot of time packing and organizing and buying ESSENTIAL things like ….. shower shoes, and he threw a few t-shirts into a duffle bag. He is ready. I am not.

In between my tearful moments, I had time to reflect. One of the things that struck me was how much every child is shaped by the sum total of their school experiences.

From the important lessons of Kindergarten -- being able to wait your turn, being able to get on and off the bus, and the necessity of an afternoon rest period (which I think, by the way, should be copied in every grade and at work),

… to the intellectual achievements attained from working with exceptional teachers,

…to the confidence and strength gained on the field or on the stage with talented coaches and instructors,

…to the compassion and involvement inspired by counselors, support staff, and administrators,

Our children have the tools, knowledge, and experiences to achieve their dreams. By the time our children graduate, as we were promised they would, they have grown into mature young adults … individuals who can pack that duffle bag and confidently tackle whatever challenge awaits. This wouldn’t, this couldn’t, happen without our wonderful teachers, staff and parents.

And, it doesn’t happen in any one single year. It happens over time. It happens seamlessly because everyone shares fundamental values and is working together toward whole student development. And it happens because when every school year begins, everyone comes in ready to start again. Ready to accept each child for where he or she is at that given moment and ready to help them to grow from that point forward.

Looking back over the entirety of our children’s educational experience, we are even more grateful for our home-school partnership. We thank you for helping to build such a strong community of people who care about our children, care about excellence, and who care about one another. We thank you for helping each of our children pursue their dreams, for cheering when they move forward, and for consoling when there are set-backs along the way.

As they go off into the world, our children are taking a lot more than what is in that duffle bag. In their hearts and minds, they carry what is really important. They take with them all they have learned at home, all the lessons they have been taught, the examples that have been set for them, and the values instilled in them.

We wish you a wonderful school year. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership.

Lisa Harkness

PTA Council President


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